WOMEN

The Greens (WA) believe that:

  • women are subject to systemic discrimination on the basis of their gender
  • men have an obligation to address gender inequality
  • society as a whole would benefit from gender equality
  • women should be valued as equal members of the community
  • women have the right to equal respect, responsibilities and rewards in society
  • women have the right to live their lives free of violence, harassment, prejudice and discrimination
  • social and economic structures which disadvantage women must be changed

Aims
The Greens (WA) want:

  • equal representation of women in public life
  • equal pay for work of equal or comparable value (see also The Greens (WA) Workplace Relations policy)
  • equal access for women to all paid occupations at all levels
  • the work of caring for children, older people and other dependents to be valued and recognised
  • those with family responsibilities not to face discrimination and, where possible, to be able to work without conflict between their paid employment and caring and other family responsibilities
  • family-friendly workplaces and public spaces
  • women to live their lives free from violence
  • women  to have access to appropriate, safe and confidential health and wellbeing services, including reproductive health services (see also The Greens (WA) Health policy)
  • women to have equal access to appropriate well-resourced education services, at all levels of education throughout their lives  (see also The Greens (WA) Education policy)
  • education in critical understanding of gender relations (see also The Greens (WA) Sexuality and Gender Identity policies)

Measures
The Greens (WA) will initiate and support legislation and actions that:

  • advance respectful and productive relations between West Australian men and women
  • resource the Office of Women to advocate for women, develop and implement programs to improve the status of women and the relations between men and women, bearing in mind the complicated intersections of class, ethnicity, race, disability and sexuality with gender.
  • include gender awareness and relationship skills programs in school curricula to eliminate the stereotyping of females and males, to eliminate all forms of violence against women, including sexual violence,  to educate young women and men in reproductive choices and to increase critical understanding of how gender shapes our lives
  • change community attitudes to respect women’s rights to control their bodies, to be safe from violence in private and public places and to overcome the stereotyping of females and males
  • oppose the production, performance, display and distribution of pornographic material which depicts women and children as objects for violence and sexual degradation
  • counter the sexualised commodification of girls
  • strengthen penalties for sexual harassment and other structurally-based  forms of discrimination in the workplace
  • strengthen support mechanisms so that women can take on leadership roles equally with men in our political, legal, cultural, social and economic institutions

Ensure all women are able to live their lives free from domestic and family violence:

  • provide and maintain funding for high quality support services for women experiencing domestic violence, including legal assistance
  • provide funding for sufficient places in appropriate refuges for anyone escaping domestic violence, including adolescent boys
  • ensure that trans women1 are not discriminated against in accessing refuges (see also The Greens (WA) Gender Identity policy)
  • hold perpetrators accountable for domestic violence, through strategies including strengthening penalties and ensuring charging and sentencing options are available which appropriately reflect the history and circumstances of the crime
  • establish and resource a domestic violence death review process and ensure the findings from any such processes are used to reduce the incidence of domestic violence through improved systemic responses and service provisions
  • ensure appropriate levels of funding for rape crisis counselling
  • resource effective rehabilitation programs for perpetrators

Balance paid work and family in the lives of women and men:

  • give financial recognition to the value of child raising by providing means-tested allowances which enable mothers and fathers of young children to stay at home with their children if they so choose
  • provide affordable, high quality, publicly-funded child care
  • develop minimum standards requiring employers to make workplaces more friendly to parents with young children, including by provision of lactation breaks, paid leave for parents with sick children and flexible work practices
  • promote employers’ recognition of skills gained in unpaid labour
  • Eliminate women’s economic disadvantage:
  • enact pay equity legislation with sanctions to ensure that all organisations with 25 employees or more undertake pay equity audits and implement strategies to reduce pay inequities (see also The Greens (WA) Workplace Relations policy)
  • increase funding for the existing Pay Equity Unit in the Department of Commerce to monitor organisations to ensure that pay equity audits are undertaken and to assist organisations to achieve pay equity
  • ensure women are not disadvantaged in their access to welfare, housing, health care, childcare, employment, further education, legal aid, superannuation or other programs because of either formal or substantive discrimination in the operation of the program
  • address  the disadvantage currently experienced by women left with sexually transmitted debt (guaranteeing the loan or debt of their male partners)
  • provide scholarships, mentoring programs and other forms of support for women to enter ‘non-traditional’ employment
  • increase funding and extend the range of services to provide support and respite to carers, most of whom are women

Recognise the important role of child-bearing and child-rearing:

  • ensure all women have access to free, safe and diverse options for pregnancy and childbirth, including home birth and birth assisted by trained midwives
  • provide intensive support services for vulnerable and at risk families with young children
  • provide nappy changing areas and easy access for prams in public places
  • recognising that it is a private matter and not an issue for the state, by ensuring all women have access to free and safe contraception and contraceptive advice, including safe legal termination of pregnancy

(See also the Australian Greens Women policy)

Glossary

  1. Trans women: refers to a person who was assigned male at birth but has a female gender identity.  Transgender is an umbrella term that includes different types of gender variant people.
Authorised by Lynn MacLaren © 2017

Hon Lynn MacLaren MLC - Member for South Metropolitan Region Legislative Council, Parliament of Western Australia